Sunday, February 16, 2014

Lazy Sunday, Not Lazy Makeup

It's snowing again, so what better way to fight the blues than to get ready for the day than to:
1) sport a tan (courtesy of Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads)
2) not wear black (clearly I need help in this department since I still opted for a neutral… sue me!)
3) bust out the gold eyeshadow!

On my face I started by mixing my current foundations of choice, Smashbox Studio Skin 2.0 and Givenchy Teint Couture #4, concealed with Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage (using a Real Techniques concealer brush) on the face and Tom Ford Illuminator in Dusk Bisque under the eyes. My blush is Chanel Revelation, which is the best cream blush formula I have tried. I used Dior Nude Bronzer in shade 02, Laura Mercier Illuminator and NARS Light Reflective Translucent Powder to set everything in place. 

For the eyes, Trish McEvoy Shadow/Liner in Topaz is the perfect base for a neutral-toned gold look. You can easily warm it up or cool it down depending on what shades you use along with it. I decided to keep it neutral and used Burberry Pale Barley, which is one of their most popular eyeshadows (for good reason - it's rather unique in the world of golds and the texture cannot be beat). Bobbi Brown Hot Stone was the perfect neutral matte brown to use in the crease, outer corner and lower lashline. For eyeliner I used MAC Teddy, and the mascara I used is Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume. Eyebrows were groomed with the Makeup Forever dual eye brow brush and the Clarins eyebrow pencil (darkest one they make).

Sealing it all with the lips - Lancome Natural Mauve lip liner (HG nude lip liner), Hourglass Femme Nude Lip Stylo in #3 and Buxom Lip Cream in White Russian.

What are you wearing today?

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara

I've been pretty loyal to a couple of mascaras for the last year or so. I love trying new mascara samples but am seldom impressed by new offerings and tend to go back to my ol' faithfuls (for reference, I love volumizing formulas to the likes of Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume, YSL Faux Cils, Prestige My Blackest Lashes).

Enter the new baby in L'Oreal's ever-growing, ever famous Voluminous mascara like: Voluminous Butterfly.

I am a fan of the original L'Oreal Voluminous mascara in terms of result and application but unfortunately the formula smudges and does not stay put on me. I am super pleased that the formula of the new Voluminous Butterfly mascara stays put throughout the day (I have very oily skin) yet it isn't a pain to remove at night.

The wand has fine plastic bristles shaped perfectly to give that "butterfly" lash effect, hence the name. It isn't as thickening and voluminous as other mascaras in L'Oreal's range but it's excellent for separating, adding length and creating a soft fluttery lash effect.

Creepy eye close-up time!! Left with mascara, right without.

This has been my go-to everyday mascara and I'll most definitely be repurchasing!

Have you tried this yet?


Sunday, February 2, 2014

My Skincare Saviour Trifecta

Over the last few weeks, I have been suffering from the worst breakouts I've experienced in the last 4 years or so. I'm talking cystic acne in the chin area in clusters (let's call them "volcanoes of doom") along with regular pimples around my mouth and cheeks. It was bad. 
I can only speculate as for the reason why (hormones/stress) but the bottom line is: my skin was a hot mess and so was I as a result of it. Nothing that I was using from my previous routine that had worked so well for me in the past year was working. I became more stressed out about it which in turn resulted into more breakouts.

So this past week I ran (not walked) to Shoppers Drug Mart and went straight to the french pharmacy skincare section and looked at two brands that I always recommend to friends when they ask me for skincare advice: La Roche Posay and Avène. Why not follow my own advice in a time of crisis, right? Boy, am I glad that I did! Here is what I picked up:

La Roche Posay Toleriane Foaming Cleanser


I wanted to step away from the harsh acid-based gel cleansers I had been using since summer but still effectively cleanse my skin. This works into a rich lather and leaves my skin clean and comfortable, ready for moisturizer. It is SLS free, fragrance free and paraben free.

I cannot recommend the Toleriane range by LRP enough if your skin is reeling from some sort of reaction and is in need of gentle care.

Avene Clenance K Cream-Gel


I needed a light moisturizer and an exfoliating agent to start working away at the dead skin and to help heal my blemishes. Clenance K combines both alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic and lactic) and beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid) to facilitate the regeneration of the skin and to prevent new blemishes from forming. This has a light tingling sensation because of its acid content and it quickly absorbs into the skin and leaves it feeling comfortable and hydrated.

Now, keep in mind that my skin is still oily/combination, so if you have a drier/normal skin type, you might need a more intensive moisturizer in addition to a treatment like this.

La Roche Posay Rosalic AR Intense


Due to my skin being so irritated by these breakouts and the extremely cold weather, I was experiencing localized redness on my face like I had never seen it before. I bought the Rosalic AR Intense to apply to the regions of redness that were so persistent on my chin and around my nose.

It's a localized treatment geared towards people fighting rosacea, so it contains ingredients that constrict the blood vessels and in turn reduce the redness. The texture is very light and I let it settle in before I start applying my makeup for the day!

Result: Within three days my breakouts stopped expanding, the cysts have retreated and my skin is healing nicely. I will need a couple of peels (currently giving the Ole Henriksen Lemon Strip Flash Peel a go) to get rid of the scarring left behind by this disaster but I could not wait any longer to share this experience with you.

What do you turn to in times of skin crisis?

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